Posted in What I know.

WWE…why not?

It’s another Monday night and I am sitting down and watching WWE Raw on the USA Network.  Monday’s can be rough at times, but my escape is to watch WWE.  For three hours, I can take a break from the stress of my life and be entertained.  It’s that what it’s all about?

For years I have been ridiculed for watching wrestling.  People have told me it’s all scripted.  And I tell, them so.  It’s entertainment.  It’s no different than some of these reality shows that are on television today.  I mean where can you watch some amazing athletes, and yes I said athletes, perform each and every week.  It takes quite a bit of athletic ability to perform many of the moves week in and week out.   All you have to do is pull up videos on You Tube or WWE Network and watch.

I fell in love with wrestling back in the day when I lived in Amarillo.  I would watch wrestling from the World Famous Sportatorium from Dallas, Texas.  Every Saturday night my parents would let me stay up past my bedtime to watch.  I watched the Von Erichs battle the Fabulous Freebirds. I loved Chris Adams, then hated Chris Adams, then loved Chris Adams.  This all depended on what side of the fence he was at the time.  But my favorites were the Von Erichs…specifically Kevin Von Erich.  Like clockwork there I was sitting in front of the television watching these athletes wrestle.  It was as flashy as it is now, but it was still fun to watch.  I also remember watching wrestling on a station of Atlanta, Georgia.  I remember watching Rick Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Rod Piper and many more.  I loved watching the Texas Steel cage matches.  I remember one time they had two rings side by side and wrestlers in both rings.  They would throw each other in and out of both rings.  Who could forget the matches at Texas Stadium?  It was my dream as a girl to go and see those matches at Texas Stadium.  The closet I ever got was when they came to Amarillo.  I went with some of my friends from junior high to watch, I believe Kerry Von Erich and others wrestle.  It’s such a rush…we got to sit ringside.  I also remember we got to be in a promo commercial for the next time they were in town.  That was the only time I was able to watch any Von Erich wrestle live.

Just like with any sporting event I watched, my father was there.  I remember my father bought me a purple satin jacket with a yellow rose and a state of Texas on the back with the words “Von Erich” on it as well.  He found at the big huge flea market in Grand Prairie.  I cherished that jacket!  I was devastated when I had to get rid of it of because I ripped the side of it.  But Daddy came through for me one more time…this time it would be in the form of an autograph from Kerry Von Erich.  He was traveling to Dallas or back from Dallas on Southwest.  And lo and behold, Kerry was on board.  Thinking of his daughter, he asked for his autograph.  I still have that envelope to this day.  It is one of my most cherished items.

Now, I am passing my love for wrestling to my two sons.  They are as passionate as I was back in the day  Several months ago I was able to take them to see WWE Live.  My youngest was able to watch his favorite wrestler…John Cena.  I got so much delight watching both of my sons enjoy WWE that night.  They both know which wrestlers are the good guys and which are the bad guys. They can’t wait to watch every week.

So, why do I like wrestling?  I just do.  I subscribe to WWE Network.  I follow WWE on social media including many of the wrestlers on Twitter.  I find myself cheering and booing every week.  At times I feel sorry for my neighbors.  What must they think?  The probably had no idea when I moved in they would be living next to a WWE fan!  The stories are fun to watch!  And well…to be frank…there is a lot of eye candy for this gal…I mean come one ladies…Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and many others.  No matter who you cheer for, just cheer.

So as this Monday night closes I am rested, relaxed, and stress free, ready to hit tomorrow’s work day!

Thank you WWE!

 

Posted in What I know.

Daddy and Buckeyes

Hi, my name is Trixie, and I AM an Ohio State Buckeyes fan.  I have been for as long as I can remember. I don’t make any apologies about my fandom for the Ohio State Buckeyes.  I cheer for them regardless of they are playing or what sport except when they play my beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.  And when they played the Bobby Knight coached Indiana Hoosiers back in the day.  Other than that, I love the Buckeyes.

From the time I was born, the Buckeyes were it.  My father loved the Buckeyes.  He love them until the day he died.  That was his team. I remember his tales about the Buckeyes and the Woody Hayes days.  Whenever there was a Buckeyes football game on television, nothing else mattered.  Of course this was in a time when there wasn’t ESPN or College Game Day.  I remember tuning into ABC on Saturdays to see if my Daddy’s Buckeyes would be on television.  I remember listening to one of my favorite college announcers Keith Jackson calling the games.  As a Buckeyes fan, you developed your hatred for that university from Ann Arbor early on.  I still have this hatred for Michigan even today.  I never cheer for them.  I didn’t openly root for them when they played that university from Austin, TX in the 2005 Rose Bowl but I didn’t want them to lose to that team from Austin.  They didn’t win (oh darn).  But my hatred of that team from Austin is slightly deeper than my hatred of that team from Ann Arbor.  Ohio State vs Michigan was a tradition in our household.

As I mentioned, my father passed on his love of the Ohio State Buckeyes to me.  The only time I got to see them play live was in the 1987 Cotton Bowl against the Texas A&M Aggies.  Ohio State won that day 28-12!  I still have the pennant my parents bought me on that day.  My first year at Texas Tech University, his beloved Buckeyes played my Red Raiders.  This was probably the first time, I did not cheer for OSU.  We almost beat them.  Of course, my father needled me about the game.  The only time I can remember him not cheering for the Buckeyes, was when the TTU Lady Raiders played the Lady Buckeyes in the NCAA Women’s National Basketball game back in 1992. In case you didn’t know, TTU won that day.  It was my turn now to needle my dad.

The Buckeyes won the football championship in 2002.  I was so excited that I could share this moment with my father.  The last time his Buckeyes had won the national championship was in 1970, the year I was born.  Coincidence, I think not.  We talked about the game on numerous occasions.  When we would talk during football season, he would always ask me if I watched the Buckeyes and how my Red Raiders did.

My bucket list of sporting events, is to see a OSU vs Michigan in Columbus.  If I ever get the chance, I will take my daddy’s ashes with me.  This is the only way I am able to see the game with my father now.  My father died in April 2011.  I didn’t watch any Buckeyes football games during the  fall 2011 season except for the OSU vs Michigan game.  I didn’t have the strength to even turn games on that football season.  I didn’t have my father.  Who would I talk to about the Buckeyes?  But I had to watch the OSU/Michigan game.  I didn’t want to let him down.  I knew he would be watching from heaven.  Ohio State lost that day, but for the first time all season I was able to watch the Buckeyes again.

I would like to think my daddy would have been very excited about Urban Meyer being the Buckeyes coach. He has brought Ohio State back to prominence after the scandal under Jim Tressel.  Oh for those who don’t know OSU won their 8th national title in 2014.  Even though I do not like Michigan, I think the OSU/Michigan rivalry is back when Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh.  It may not reach the level of intensity as it was in the Woody Hayes/Bo Schembechler days, but it’s going to be fun to watch.

I miss my Daddy.  I still watch Ohio State any chance I get.  I would like to think he tunes in every Saturday with me to watch from above.  I miss not be able to talk to him about the game.  I would love to pick his brain about what he thinks of the new playoff system or any other sports item.  I would like to think he is sitting somewhere discussing Ohio State with Woody Hayes.  I bet those are interesting conversations.

I miss and love you Daddy.  Here’s hoping the Ohio State Buckeyes are back in the National Championship game this year.  Go Bucks!  Beat Michigan!

 

 

Posted in What I know.

Musings

I hate the fact that I haven’t spent much time on my blog.  For years, I loved writing in this space.  It was a way for me to write about NASCAR and other things that tickled my fancy.  But as with anything over the past 5 years, other things have taken over my life.

When I started this blog back in April 7, 2005 (can’t believe it’s been that long ago), my life was little bit less complicated.  During the past almost 11 years, I adopted 2 boys (they are now 12 & 7), lost both parents (April 2011/December 2011) and been through a transformation of sorts.  Writing became secondary to events that occurred in my life.  For the most part, I am still following NASCAR with the same passion as I always have, but I just haven’t had the time to write about it here in The Park.  Trust me when I say, I have talked about NASCAR with others whether they wanted to hear about it or not.  When you are friends with me, it pretty much comes with the territory.

Before I get into things (and for those new to The Park), I am an opinionated and passionate NASCAR fan.  I don’t always agree with decisions, rules, and policies by NASCAR–and I will voice my opinions.  I am very frank about which drivers like and don’t like.  It doesn’t mean I can’t respect and appreciate their talent.  It’s just I like certain drivers.  It’s nothing personal.  For those who know me, I have never been the biggest fan of Jimmie Johnson.  Do I cheer when he has a bad day?  Yes.  Do I want to see him hurt in a crash? No.  But it doesn’t mean, I cannot appreciate his skill and talent out there on the racetrack.  I have seen him take a piece of crap, dented, damaged, ready for the junk yard car and take it to victory lane.  He isn’t a 6 time NASCAR champion for nothing.  I mean he won the whole kit and caboodle 5 times in a row.   Say what you want, he did something no other driver has ever done.  And I have to admire it.

I was not surprised last year when Jeff Gordon announced his retirement.  At the time of his announcement he was 43 years old (he turned 44 August 4, 2015). He had been racing since 1992.  He really didn’t have anything else to prove to ANYONE. He made 2015 exciting.  I was so excited when he won in Martinsville to punch his ticket to the 2015 Championship round.  I really wanted him to win it all in last year.  I wanted him to go out on top of the NASCAR world.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  He finished 3rd in the final standings for 2015.   We call still enjoy Jeff, but he will be in the booth calling the races for Fox.  I am excited about him being in the booth.  He will add a fresh perspective, in my opinion, the booth has needed for some time.

imagesNow this brings me to Tony Stewart.  Tony Stewart announced 2016 would be his last year. This too didn’t surprise me after the last few years.  It has been at times painful to watch Tony go through everything he has gone through.  After he announced his retirement, I was sad, but yet pumped.  If you are any kind of Tony Stewart, you know when he is on a mission, watch out.  That’s what I kept telling everyone.  Tony was going to be one to watch in 2016.  Unfortunately, before he could even get started, he had another setback.  He injured his back during on an off-season, non-race related accident. I was devastated along with Smoke Nation.  He won’t have a chance to get that elusive Daytona 500 win.  I am hoping he will be back so he can challenge for his last championship.  Either way, I will be excited to see him back racing.

Since Tony will be retiring at the end of 2016, I am a fan in need of a driver.  I have been contemplating this decision since Tony announced his retirement.  I like Kyle Busch.  I have been critical of some of his actions, but as I recall Tony wasn’t always a choir boy.  I am also looking at Chase Elliott.  My youngest told me go with Chase.  I think it has to do with the fact his is also named Chase.  I like Kevin Harvick.  This would keep my fandom with SHR.  I just don’t know.  Some suggested Earnhardt would welcome me, thank you, but no.  Here’s what I am looking for, if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Passionate and loyal NASCAR fan looking for… a driver who isn’t afraid to mix up on the race track.  Must be competitive week and week out.   One who isn’t afraid to speak their mind, no matter what may others think.  Must have a winning attitude and be Tony Stewartesque! Willing to accept a DNF every now and then. If you are that driver, I am your fan!

Well, that’s about it for now.  Here’s looking to an exciting 2016 NASCAR season!

#SmokeWillRise

 

Posted in What I know.

TV Guilty Pleasures

I love to watch television.   I watch all kinds of shows from comedies to sports to yes, even reality shows.  Why I watch certain shows over others who knows.  I know what I like to watch and therefore choose those shows.  Sometimes I like a show because someone said, “You HAVE to watch this show!” like I am some kind of freak if I don’t.  That’s how I found shows like Scandal and Blacklist.  Of course this hasn’t happened with shows like “The Walking Dead”.  It’s really not about the show, it’s about the genre.  I just don’t find shows about zombies, vampires, and such interesting.

I LOVE all kinds of crime shows…CSI, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, NCIS, and so on. One of favorites over the years has been NCIS. This show has wonderful story lines and BRILLIANT written characters (i.e. Leroy Jethro Gibbs).  Gibbs has so many layers that he always keeps you guessing throughout each show.  Of course, it’s no wonder I like NCIS, it is from the same person who created JAG and Magnum P.I.  NCIS spun off two shows, NCIS-LA and just this year, NCIS-New Orleans.  I never could get into NCIS-LA even though it has LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.  But the newest spin-off, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler” translation…Let the Good Time Roll!

The Law and Order franchise has produced some of my favorite shows as well.  The original L&O can stand on it’s own.  I stopped watching it for awhile after Jerry Orbach died.  In my opinion, he made the show, along with Sam Waterson and S. Epatha Merkerson.  Of course, if you watch the original, you probably love L&O: SVU.  I miss Christopher Meloni.  I haven’t watched since he left the show.  Sorry SVU, I just can’t watch without him.  I did like Criminal Intent, very different compared to the other two shows, but worth watching if you catch it in reruns.

I have been watching this genre in some form or fashion for as long as I can remember.  There were some great shows from the 70s (Kojak, The Rockford Files, Columbo) and then the grittier shows like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.  Of course, I could not leave this genre without mentioning the one and only Jessica Fletcher.  Yep, I believe she was the real killer in Cabot Cove.  I mean come on people, everywhere she went, and I mean everywhere she went someone was murdered.  I find that odd.  I think she needed material for all the books she was writing.  That’s all I’m sayin’!

I love to laugh!  My favorite right now is The Big Bang Theory!  I love the premise of the show and if you have seen the show, how can you not love Sheldon.  In fact, I based a professional conference presentation on Sheldon and his inability to adjust to change in his life.  I really don’t watch as much of the newer comedy shows of today.  I have caught a couple of episodes of Modern Family, it’s funny, but it just doesn’t appeal to me as much as other comedies.  One of my favorite comedies is The Golden Girls.  I swear I am turning into Dorothy everyday.  When it was first on back in the 1980s, I didn’t fully appreciate the humor of it all.  Now, OMG!!!  It’s even funnier!  This show tackled several topics that would be nothing special today, but back then, very groundbreaking.  No matter what, they always found the humor in life and loved each other no matter what.  That’s some life lessons anyone should take away from this show.

Reality shows can be somewhat stupid.  And to be honest, I have watched a lot of these shows both good, bad and ugly. When you watch these shows, you have to remember, these are scripted and edited.  They are entertainment.  Sure they involve supposedly normal, average people, but in reality (look how I did that) some are a little off the beam.  I cannot even imagine a camera crew following me recording EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of my life.  Of course, my life is boring, it wouldn’t make for great television.  I guess they could use me as an example of WHAT NOT to put on television.  I will still, however, on occasion watch to see who gets voted off the island.

Finally the point of this rambling…I have discovered two new shows of late.  One just premiered this week called “Younger”.  The premise, a woman who is 40ish returns to the workforce after stepping out to raise her daughter.  She can’t seem to get a job because they want someone who happens to be in their 20s.  So what does her friend tell her to do…lie about your age or as she explains it.. “People will believe anything you tell them”.  Sure enough she jumps right in with the charade. Being someone who is 40ish I can relate.  But to be honest, I don’t know if I would want to relive my 20s.  They weren’t all that great.  The other show is called Bloodline currently airing exclusively on Netflix.  What drew me to the show, to be honest, it really wasn’t the storyline, it was the fact that Kyle Chandler was one of the stars.  That’s right, you heard me, Kyle Chandler.  If you don’t know who this gorgeous man is well, crawl back into your cave.  This show is good!  It’s BRILLIANT!  If you have a NETFLIX account, check it out.  I am down to the last couple of episodes and I can’t wait to see what happens!

That’s about it.  Of course, you can catch me this weekend catching up on all the shows I have on the DVR since there is no NASCAR on this weekend.  I will be watching the NCAA Basketball games on Saturday.  And I will be continuing the annual Easter tradition of watching The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston.   With that I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!

Posted in What I know.

I’m Back

I have been contemplating what to do with The Park over the past several months.  Should I just let it go by the wayside?  Should I delete the blog and start over?  Revamp?  Retool? What should I do?  Then I thought about it…I am going to keep The Park.

At some point in my life back on April 7, 2005, I started The Park.  I wanted a place where I could write about anything I wanted.  I love to write and I am very opinionated about many topics.  The Park morphed into a place where I could talk about my love and passion for NASCAR without fear of ridicule.  Along this journey I met other NASCAR fans who I have come to call my friends.  But since the death of both my parents in 2011, I lost my passion for lots of things.  The tremendous grief over losing both of them within 8 months of each other is difficult to understand unless you have been there.  I lost quite a bit of who I was during that time including my love for NASCAR.  I would still watch, but nothing seemed right.  Part of who I was died with both of them.  I was uninspired and frankly, I just didn’t feel like writing.  I have slowly and deliberately traveled down this road of grief to find myself again.  The journey is still ongoing and it will for the rest of my life, but I am a place now where I can begin writing again.

Now for the good stuff…I will still continue to discuss NASCAR, but I want to write about other things.  These “other things” will cover mainly topics about sports, but I will also write about things that inspire me or frankly, piss me off.  I will not discuss my political views, religious beliefs or moral beliefs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good discussion about things, but The Park has never been a place fo those kind of volitile discussions.  I will on occasion post things that will be deemed private.  Only those who are given permission will be allowed to view them.  You might say, then why post them, well frankly, writing is therapeutic for me.  I have saved thousands of my hard-earned dollars by writing.  I encourage people to comment on my posts whether you agree or disagree.  I love a good discussion.  All I ask is you keep things respectful.  Sometimes it is better to not comment than to comment.  Always ask yourself before posting, would you say this to someone in person?  That’s my guideline on anything with regards to social media.  If I would not say it to someone to their face, I don’t hit the submit or send button.

So with that, WELCOME TO THE PARK!  And to get things started, let’s take a look back at one of my favorite posts from March 30, 2006…“The Big Green Book Bag”

Posted in What I know.

The Week That Was

This was written last night, but due to technical difficulties with my internet, I was not able to post until today.

I have been trying all week to write something about all that happened last Saturday night at Richmond. I have gone back and forth on several of the issues that have arisen over the past few days. I am still not sure if this is really happening or we are all part of an elaborate “catfish” scheme. Either way, as a NASCAR fan, the events of this past week have made me think about the sport I love.

On Saturday night at Richmond, the field of 12 was set. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon who had been on the outside looking in. Newman was leading the race with Clint Bowyer spun out very late in the race. Because of this spin, Carl Edwards took the lead and well, Newman along with Gordon was out and Martin Truex Jr. was in. As well all know, accusations flew that Clint Bowyer spun intentionally in order to help his teammate get into the Chase. Also afoot were Clint and Brian Vickers pitted late which allowed Lagano to get a few more spots and get a spot in the Chase. Monday NASCAR announced penalties for MWR. Truex was out and Newman was permitted his rightful spot into the Chase. Also Clint, Brian, and Martin were docked 50 driver points. These deductions were applied after the Richmond race, not before the reset. This is the reason Truex was no longer in the Chase and Newman was in. I thought NASCAR got part of this right. I had issues with allowing Clint Bowyer to remain in the Chase. He was the one who intentionally spun out and started this brouhaha. I know he had already earned his spot in the Chase prior to Richmond. I get that. But NASCAR essentially was saying, we know something happened, but without clear and definite evidence we don’t want to go down this road. If you wanted to penalize Clint, moved him to the 12th spot in the Chase and move everyone behind him up one spot. Make him start at the bottom. Jeff Gordon, in my, opinion on Monday, should have been allowed to be a driver in the Chase. Prior to all the shenanigans (this was the word of the week), he had earned his spot. To put it bluntly, he got screwed! I know he didn’t win a race and yes he was on the outside looking in, but he busted his tail on Saturday to get where he needed to get into the Chase. But due to others who wanted to manipulate the outcome, he was out!

Just when I thought all of this was over and we could get to talking about the start of the Chase, news came out there was shenanigans afoot between Joey Lagano and David Gilliland’s teams. I thought here we go again. Unfortunately, they didn’t get a chance to do it. It was at this point the infamous spun occurred on the track. In an unprecedented move by NASCAR, it was announced today Jeff Gordon would be the 13th driver in the Chase. That’s right. I am glad NASCAR made this decision, a few days too late, but nonetheless the right decision.

I love this sport. I love watching these amazing drivers do things on a race track that keep me coming back week after week, year after year. But as a long time fan, I am disappointed and angry. Members of three organizations chose, that’s chose, to cheat. They chose to manipulate the outcome of the race as well as the championship. I can’t even begin to understand the type of pressure drivers and race teams are under trying to get into the Chase each and every year. There are millions of dollars at stake for everyone involved from drivers to owners to sponsors and even to the upper echelon of NASCAR. But when the integrity of the sport is placed in jeopardy, those at NASCAR need to make a stand. There is a meeting scheduled at the track tomorrow where NASCAR will what I assume is a come to Jesus meeting for the drivers and teams. Mr. France needs to put it in clear concise words, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. And if this kind of behavior happens again, you are out of this sport. That’s what I believe should happen to those who try this again. I felt cheated and betrayed as a fan. I am now looking at the sport I love differently. I know drivers allow teammates or other drivers to pass them to lead a lap or give them a spot ahead of them to get a point. I get that. Drivers who are laps down allow the leaders to pass them because they are faster. But this was different, there blatant manipulation happening on the track. That to me is unacceptable. Now when a driver spins by him or herself, am I going to wonder is it a legitimate spin or is it intentionally?

I am hoping after everything is decided at Homestead in November, NASCAR takes a good hard look at what happened in Richmond. Does the pressure of the Chase cultivate this type of manipulation? Should the Chase be tweaked again in order to prevent this type of cheating from happening again? When

I have been trying all week to write something about all that happened last Saturday night at Richmond. I have gone back and forth on several of the issues that have arisen over the past few days. I am still not sure if this is really happening or we are all part of an elaborate “catfish” scheme. Either way, as a NASCAR fan, the events of this past week have made me think about the sport I love.

On Saturday night at Richmond, the field of 12 was set. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon who had been on the outside looking in. Newman was leading the race with Clint Bowyer spun out very late in the race. Because of this spin, Carl Edwards took the lead and well, Newman along with Gordon was out and Martin Truex Jr. was in. As well all know, accusations flew that Clint Bowyer spun intentionally in order to help his teammate get into the Chase. Also afoot were Clint and Brian Vickers pitted late which allowed Lagano to get a few more spots and get a spot in the Chase. Monday NASCAR announced penalties for MWR. Truex was out and Newman was permitted his rightful spot into the Chase. Also Clint, Brian, and Martin were docked 50 driver points. These deductions were applied after the Richmond race, not before the reset. This is the reason Truex was no longer in the Chase and Newman was in. I thought NASCAR got part of this right. I had issues with allowing Clint Bowyer to remain in the Chase. He was the one who intentionally spun out and started this brouhaha. I know he had already earned his spot in the Chase prior to Richmond. I get that. But NASCAR essentially was saying, we know something happened, but without clear and definite evidence we don’t want to go down this road. If you wanted to penalize Clint, moved him to the 12th spot in the Chase and move everyone behind him up one spot. Make him start at the bottom. Jeff Gordon, in my, opinion on Monday, should have been allowed to be a driver in the Chase. Prior to all the shenanigans (this was the word of the week), he had earned his spot. To put it bluntly, he got screwed! I know he didn’t win a race and yes he was on the outside looking in, but he busted his tail on Saturday to get where he needed to get into the Chase. But due to others who wanted to manipulate the outcome, he was out!

Just when I thought all of this was over and we could get to talking about the start of the Chase, news came out there was shenanigans afoot between Joey Lagano and David Gilliland’s teams. I thought here we go again. Unfortunately, they didn’t get a chance to do it. It was at this point the infamous spun occurred on the track. In an unprecedented move by NASCAR, it was announced today Jeff Gordon would be the 13th driver in the Chase. That’s right. I am glad NASCAR made this decision, a few days too late, but nonetheless the right decision.

I love this sport. I love watching these amazing drivers do things on a race track that keep me coming back week after week, year after year. But as a long time fan, I am disappointed and angry. Members of three organizations chose, that’s chose, to cheat. They chose to manipulate the outcome of the race as well as the championship. I can’t even begin to understand the type of pressure drivers and race teams are under trying to get into the Chase each and every year. There are millions of dollars at stake for everyone involved from drivers to owners to sponsors and even to the upper echelon of NASCAR. But when the integrity of the sport is placed in jeopardy, those at NASCAR need to make a stand. There is a meeting scheduled at the track tomorrow where NASCAR will what I assume is a come to Jesus meeting for the drivers and teams. Mr. France needs to put it in clear concise words, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. And if this kind of behavior happens again, you are out of this sport. That’s what I believe should happen to those who try this again. I felt cheated and betrayed as a fan. I am now looking at the sport I love differently. I know drivers allow teammates or other drivers to pass them to lead a lap or give them a spot ahead of them to get a point. I get that. Drivers who are laps down allow the leaders to pass them because they are faster. But this was different, there blatant manipulation happening on the track. That to me is unacceptable. Now when a driver spins by him or herself, am I going to wonder is it a legitimate spin or is it intentionally?

I am hoping after everything is decided at Homestead in November, NASCAR takes a good hard look at what happened NASCAR announced the two wild card positions I wasn’t too thrilled. I liked the fact there were just 10 drivers in the Chase. Maybe that’s what NASCAR should do. If you are in the Top 10 you are in and no wild cards! That’s it. Keep the bonus points for the wins. Yes, the battle for the wild card keeps me interested late in the year, but did it cause unintended consequences? Should they go back to the old system? The one, they still use in the Truck and Nationwide series’. Since they changed the point system, the points standings are competitive and close. It is fun to watch every week to see who is leading and who is battling their way to get to the top. I know NASCAR wants to keep fans interested once football season starts. But is it worth it, if it puts NASCAR’s integrity in jeopardy?

I want to believe those who run the sport will take a serious look at what a few individuals have done to the integrity of the sport. I am still going to watch every week. I can’t just abandon a great sport just because of a few individuals. NASCAR is an exciting sport and these drivers are some of the best athletes out there. But if NASCAR doesn’t reign in this kind of behavior, I don’t know if I can continue to watch.

Some final thoughts…

  • I am excited about the fact that Kurt Busch has made  the Chase. Furniture Row Racing is a one car team based in Denver, Colorado. It has to be difficult not to be in the heart of NASCAR country in North Carolina. FRR has proven they can be successful. Kurt Busch has worked all season long to get into the Chase and I for one am looking forward to watching him in the next 10 races. I know FRR is disappointed Kurt will be leaving at the end of the year to head for Stewart Haas Racing.  Considering where Kurt was two years ago, this is definitely a one of the      best comeback stories this year.
  • I feel bad for Martin Truex Jr. I know it’s not fair.  His team wanted to get him into the race, but in the end it has to end with the driver. Martin did what he could for the first 26 races to put      himself in a place to get into the Chase. But in the end, he is out. Plain and simple.
  • I have lost respect for Michael Waltrip. I just  finished watching the Truck race. I can’t listen to him. He has lost credibility in my eyes. How can I respect his analysis of the sport, when I know what happened? As I am in the middle of typing this post, Fox Sports Live on FS1 comes on. The lead story, NASCAR. They go to the Truck race broadcast crew which includes no other than Michael Waltrip. Really? I know they are all trying to be professional, but for me I just don’t see how I can believe anything he says. I found myself yelling at the television. That’s how angry I am at all of this. Sorry, it’s the way I feel.
  • Update–NASCAR had a meeting with drivers, owners, and crew chiefs today.  Here’s what came out of the meeting.  Drivers/teams should give 100% in the race.  Only one spotter for each team will be allowed up on the spotter’s stand.  No more digital radios.  Spotters can use two analog radios, scanners, & Fan Views.  A video camera will installed on the spotters’ stand. NASCAR will be monitoring the spotter’s stand.  If competitors who try to “artificially alter” the race will be penalized which can include, but not limited to “disqualifcationa dn/or loss of finishing points and/or fines and/or loss of points and /or suspension and/or probration to any an all members of the teams, incluing any beneficiaries of the prohibited actions.

The Chase…in case of those you didn’t know the Chase begins Sunday in Chicago. I am not sure who I will be rooting for this year. My driver is currently sidelined. I am not worried though, he will be back in 2014. Just remember #SmokeWillRise. You have to look at Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch. Between these three drivers you have 8 wins. Even though these guys have this many wins between them, you can’t count any of the other drivers. One just has to look at 2011. No one really thought Tony had a chance. He went on a tear that year, won 5 races and took the championship! I hope once the green flag falls on Sunday, we can put all this controversy behind us and concentrate on the racing. Good luck to all the racers, even though I hope some have a not so good Chase.